This guided imagination exercise is called the Body Scan. This exercise is one way to induce self-hypnosis. You will need at least 10 to 15 minutes without interruptions to do this exercise.

You may find it helpful to slowly read the following script a few times to get used to it, and then read it into an audio recorder to play back for yourself as you stay in a relaxed position. (Important: Do not drive while listening to any recorded exercises.) However, you can still learn to reach a relaxed trance state if you choose to participate by reading the script with your eyes open without recording it.

To begin, get as comfortable as you can in your chair with both feet flat on the ground. Take a moment now to close your eyes and make sure you are comfortable. Then begin to mentally scan your body: Start with the very top of your head, through your forehead and neck, progressing slowly all the way down through each part of your body at your own pace, visiting each part of the body, even down to the soles of the feet. As you bring awareness down into every area of ​​your body, notice any places that you may hold stressor tension … (pause)

Just notice them for now, recognize these spots, and then move on, continuing to slowly scan your whole body, becoming curious about what your body feels like … (pause)

Allow yourself to take some relaxed, open belly breaths, letting the air fill your lungs and press into the belly … feeling the rise and fall of your belly (pause) … Now imagine that your breath goes to one of the tight or tense areas … notice as the breath goes there … the area begins to loosen and relax. Loosening … relaxing … Again, breathe nicely into that area … feeling relaxed … breathing gently … loosing … and relaxing … loosing and relaxing even more … You may choose to bring the breath to another part of the body and that new area begins to loosen and relax … (pause)

Take a moment to notice the thoughts in your head. Just notice what's there right now … you do not have to do anything with them or to them … Notice … What are you thinking about right now? … mind's eye? … Where do you sense the thoughts … where do they stay in your body? Breathe gently and notice … (pause)

Let the thoughts turn into clouds … floating … in the blue sky … of your mind's eye …

Let the thoughts to just float by you … each thought turning into a white, fluffy cloud … Watch them float by you for a moment … notice every thought in your mind transform easily … and let it float by … (pause) … observe and … let them go with each breath … Notice you feel like a neutral observer … watching … unattached … watching the clouds disappear into the horizon .. … smaller … with each moment … the blue sky becomes clearer and clearer … the clouds floating away … disappearing … breathing gently … (pause)

Imagine that the blue sky becomes you … becomes your whole body … Notice your whole body … from your head down to your toes … As you inhale … Allow this calming, radiant blue sky to fill your whole body and mind for a moment, completely clear … completely calm … completely at ease in the clarity … enlarge the blue sky just a bit and let it fill you even more … relaxing into your breath .. (pause)

Notice that the calmness and clarity helps you … helps you to naturally access any tools … any information you need now in your daily life … as you take another gentle breath, notice you are more calm, more relaxed .. . more at ease … (pause)

I'll give you a moment to finish this guided imagery … when you are ready, open your eyes, bring yourself back into the room … stretch and notice that you feel more relaxed, yet recharged.

Action Step:

Practice this exercise at least twice this week (or more if you'd like). Notice at least one change in your work life.

Here are a few examples of changes clients have noticed:

· Much calmer and at ease

· More pleasant interactions with supervisor or collections

· More referrals

· More confidence at work

· Promotions

After doing this exercise for two months, one of my clients increased her massage clientele because she was so centered and calm. She felt that the increase in business was due to people wanting to be around her calming demeanor.

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